War on Drugs

Alaska Reporter Who Quit On Air in Support of Marijuana Legalization Facing 24 Years in Prison

State authorities didn't appreciate her not waiting for regulations on legalization.



Charlo Greene went viral two years ago when she quit her reporting job on-air after advocating the legalization of marijuana. "Fuck it, I quit" she said, signing off for the last time.

Greene, an Alaska native, moved from journalism to marijuana legalization advocacy. Voters approved a ballot measure that year to legalize marijuana, but now Greene is being criminally prosecuted for her marijuana-related work, The Guardian reports.

After her resignation, the Alaska Cannabis Club, which she revealed to be the founder of in her last on-air segment, appeared to become a primary target for law enforcement authorities in Alaska, who conducted six undercover purchases and two raids of the club, which gave members marijuana in exchange for donations, and two raids in a five month period after her resignation. Marijuana legalization went into effect in February 2015. Greene, who spoke with The Guardian, faces eight drug-related charges that could cost her up to 24 years in prison, and described her experience as a "modern day lynching."

"The fact that they were watching us for so long, I kind of felt violated," Greene's sister, Jennifer Egbe, who did work for the club, told The Guardian. "I was really just heartbroken. I never assumed it would go this far."

Greene said she was especially worried police would shoot Jennifer or one of her other three siblings who helped at the club during their armed operations. "I saw all my siblings… with these guns that my tax dollars paid for pointed at them for what was now legal," Greene told The Guardian.

The Alaska attorney general's office declined to provide The Guardian with a comment, but the director of Alaska's alcohol and marijuana control office, Cynthia Franklin, explained that Greene's club and two other businesses were being targeted because they got started before the state imposed regulations on marijuana.

"These people got ahead and said, 'we're not going to wait'," Franklin told The Guardian.

Such people used to be widely considered American heroes. They still are, even if America's contemporary nanny state culture doesn't think so.